Dutch YouTubers jailed over ‘plan to film Area 51’

Govert Sweep, 21, and Ties Granzier, 20, were sentenced to three days in Nye County jail and fined $2,280 (£1,824) each.

They also handed over computer and camera equipment, and a drone.

The pair, who have hundreds of thousands of YouTube subscribers, were arrested on 10 September in a car inside the Nevada National Security Site near Mercury – more than 20 miles from Area 51.

The base has been in the news recently after more than two million people signed up to storm it, prompting its nearest town, Rachel, to warn people to stay away.

So many people committed to a proposed raid in the hope of seeing aliens that the US air force felt compelled to warn that it “stands ready to protect America and its assets”.

The Facebook event was eventually shut down after its organiser admitted it was a joke.

It is thought that Area 51 may host the development and testing of experimental aircraft and weapons systems.

Various conspiracy theories have grown up around it – including that it holds alien technology.

There are claims it has been used to store the remains of crashed UFOs.

Area 51 is about 150 miles from Las Vegas, is not open to the public and is under 24-hour surveillance.

The remote 4,000-square-mile patch of desert was first used for the development of U2 spy planes in the 1950s.

That programme finished after the U2 was put into service around 1956.